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Original Xbox Games Available on Live Soon, Plus Free Arcade Game Today

Today is the five-year anniversary of Xbox Live, and Microsoft is celebrating by giving away some free stuff. All Xbox 360 owners should head onto Live today or tomorrow before midnight and download Carcassonne, a board game for 1-5 players either on your console or Xbox Live (you can read more about it here). Players in Korea get Hexic 2 instead.

Also, Microsoft is giving 500 free Microsoft Points to users who have been active on Live since 2002, a $6.25 gift for the early adopters.

Along with the freebies, Microsoft is announcing a new section to Xbox Live which will launch December 4 (confirmed as the day of the Fall update). Xbox Originals will sell games from the original Xbox for download for 1200 Microsoft Points, or $15. The initial lineup of games will include the legendary original Halo, Psychonauts, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Fable, Indigo Prophecy, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex, and Burnout 3, with the final list of launch titles still being finalized.

I spoke to PR and they explained to me that these are almost exactly the same code as the original games, meaning the downloads are about the same size they were on the original DVD9 disks. Games will run between 2 and 7 gigabytes, using the same backwards compatibility as if you had just popped in the disk itself. That means the feature is not an option for Xbox Arcade consoles without a hard drive, and 20-gig drives will have to manage drive space to hold these.

Games will support Xbox Live if they originally did, and there are no Achievements. Microsoft has a page listing known issues with Originals titles, including occasional framerate issues, HDMI 720p not supported for PAL users on Psychonauts and random audio static in Fable. Additional unnecessary content, like game trailers and demos for others games, have been removed, so selecting them will cause the game to crash.

Full press release after the jump.

As Xbox LIVE Turns Five, Microsoft Announces Next Wave of Social Fun

Xbox LIVE Membership Soars Past Eight Million Mark, Microsoft Unveils New Download Service for Full Xbox Games Direct to Your Living Room, Beginning Dec. 4

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 13, 2007 — On November 15, Microsoft Corp. will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Xbox LIVE. In addition, the company notes that the latest membership figures show more than eight-million members are now actively engaged in the largest social entertainment network on TV. Xbox LIVE has grown from a small community of gamers in two countries, playing a handful of games online with their friends, to a worldwide social entertainment network offering online access to gaming, movies, music and TV shows. As friends across 26 countries and nine languages have connected on Xbox LIVE, it is their feedback and active participation that has guided the service to become what Wired magazine recently called “The king of the online arena.” As a gesture of thanks to the gaming community, all eight million members will have the opportunity to download a free Xbox LIVE Arcade game* between 12:01 a.m. PST on Nov. 15 and 11:59 p.m. PST on Nov. 16**. In addition to this, every active member who joined the service in 2002 will receive 500 MS Points for free.

Starting on December 4th, all Xbox LIVE members will receive a free system update with a host of new features and enhancements. Included in this update will be the launch of the Xbox Originals, which, for the first time ever, will enable consumers to download and own full Xbox games , such as Halo®, Psychonauts™, Crimson Skies®: High Road to Revenge™ and Fable® among others directly to their Xbox 360. This new service will launch with an array of blockbuster titles spanning the most popular genres from action-adventure to classic role-playing games.

With no disc necessary, and at just 1,200 Microsoft Points per game, Xbox LIVE members can easily rediscover these hit titles, or check out a game they missed the first time around. This launch line-up is only the beginning as Xbox 360 owners can expect to see a growing catalogue of Xbox games for download to own over the coming year.

“In just five short years Xbox LIVE has revolutionized the way friends and family have fun in the living room,” said John Schappert, corporate vice president of LIVE, software and services at Microsoft. “On its fifth birthday, Xbox LIVE truly is the place for hanging out with friends and enjoying downloadable TV shows, movies, videos, game add-ons and now downloadable Xbox games on demand.”

For more information about the downloadable games available on Xbox LIVE, the evolution of Xbox LIVE or the “Xbox LIVE is 5IVE” member rewards, visit

November 15th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Xbox | one comment

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1 Comment »

  1. In my opinion xbox is the best console of the new generation… The only problem is that 3 red lights isue.. man that sux!
    Have you seen that game with a bug that gives you easy 1000 game points?
    It’s a game called Avatar. Here is the video demonstrating how the bug is done:
    Nice uh? I will rent this game asap! :D

    Comment by Victor | November 23, 2007

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